One of the fun things about living in Hawaii is that it’s somewhat like living in an Asian country… but not. I get to experience a lot of things that are new because of this, including mochi ice cream and gyotaku and the like. Today I learned a new word, though– shabu shabu.
Shabu shabu (or “swish swish”) is another name for a “hot pot,” or a soup made at the table. Each table has a hot plate in the middle, and you order a broth (vegetable, miso, beef, chicken, etc) which comes out and is heated on the hot plate. You can order thinly sliced meats if you like, and there is a refrigerator in the back full of cut veggies, spouts, mushrooms, noodles, and all sorts of seafood.
After choosing what you like (my friend and I got a little excited over the veggies today) you put in whatever you want into the broth and wait for it to cook. In this way it’s similar to fondu, but made in a broth instead of oil so a lot healthier.
As it cooks in the broth, you can add spices, sauces, onions, all sort of things to tweak the flavor to your taste. I think it’s fun to play with all of the spices, but my favorite is the “house special,” whatever that is.
After everything is cooked, you ladle it into your bowl (over rice if you like!) and have a wonderful soup! It’s fun to do and tastes really lovely.
Oh, and you get a mochi ice cream ball for dessert. Today I had strawberry. ^_^